Christmas Gifts for College Students Under $50

Shopping for gifts for college students can be tricky; whether you’re a family member, friend, or roommate, finding the perfect present to add a little bit of luxury to the college experience without spending an arm and a leg is hard work! Luckily, your favorite hip, fresh-outta-college blogger (that’s me) is here to help. These seven gift ideas are all college-kid approved and under $50! You’re welcome.

This post may contain affiliate links. I promise to only recommend products that I genuinely love and believe in. I may receive a (very small) commission if you purchase of of these products using my link at no extra cost to you.

A Swell Water Bottle

Gifts for college students water bottle
Everyone knows that living a healthy lifestyle in college is a challenge. Unhealthy cafeteria food, a limited grocery budget, and almost NO free time to cook can make it hard to fuel your body adequately. One issue I ran into when I was in school was dehydration. I often didn’t have time to go back to my dorm to get a glass of water between classes and school water fountains are nasty. Vacuum-sealed stainless steel water bottles are the perfect solution to this problem! I’m a big fan of this marble one. This is one of those things that a student will rarely spend the money on to buy themselves, but it will make a drastic improvement to their quality of life!

A Really Nice Planner

Gifts for college students planner

I am a HUGE fan of the Passion Planner. After getting one in my goody bag at Beautycon, I immediately fell in love with their format and style. I did a full review of the planner in this video, but I’ll give you the highlights: this planner comes in a special “academic” version for college students, as well as a general version for anyone and everyone! One of my favorite things about these is that they’re organized by time- each hour of each day has a separate line, which was perfect for scheduling classes, work, and social events. It also has sections to set your daily and weekly intentions, as well as space for monthly reflections and its own method of setting and achieving goals. It’s basically the perfect blend between a traditional planner and a bullet journal. Plus, how cool do they look?

Use code MEGANA10 for 10% off until the end of the year!

A Gift Card (Preferably for Food)

Gifts for College Students Gift Cards

There is NO better feeling for a college student than being broke and then remembering you have a gift card for your favorite food. Amazon, Taco Bell, In ‘N Out, and Trader Joe’s are some favorites, but you can never go wrong with a prepaid Mastercard or Visa. My freshman roommate’s parents always used to do this at Christmas and we were always SO jealous.

A 10-foot iPhone Charging Cable

Gifts for college students iphone accessories charging cord

This will change their life. Seriously. Looking up sources for papers, answering e-mails on the go, or (more realistically) watching Netflix in bed are SO much easier when you’re not tethered closely to an outlet. iPhone cords are ALWAYS breaking (thanks, Apple) so I would opt for this 3-pack.

This Book That Will Help Them Figure Out What to Do With Their Life

Gifts for College Students BookOkay, so they may roll their eyes (at first) but this book was recommended to me by a professor and it SERIOUSLY changed my life. From a quiz to find out what your aptitudes are and what careers utilize them to actionable tips on how to do things like write a resume and interview, this book is a MUST for snagging that internship at a Fortune-500 company. Plus, a new edition comes out every year with the latest information. Just read it. I promise you’ll thank me.

This Party Game for the Digital Age

Meme gifts for college studentsCollege kids love memes. It’s just science. This game combines the inappropriate hilarity of Cards Against Humanity with popular internet memes for the PERFECT “it’s 2am and I have a paper due tomorrow but my squad and I are procrastinating together” activity.

A Bluetooth Speaker

This bluetooth speaker is a great way to bathe your dorm room in your favorite music, set the mood for a study-party, or just have a little impromptu dance-party while no one is looking to de-stress. With HD sound and bass (!!!) it’s a steal for its price.


What was/is you favorite gift to receive as a starving student? Let me know in the comments down below!


  1. Planners and water bottles are perfect! Those were definitely staples throughout my college years

    • Yesss! Gotta keep organized and hydrated!

  2. Great list! I like that all products are under $50.. just helps when trying to stay on somewhat of a budget! Love the water bottle. People underestimate the greatness of a new, quality water bottle! 🙂

    • Right? When I got one it seriously changed my life.

    • Thanks for reading! So glad you enjoyed!

  3. I’m definitely getting that bluetooth speaker for my sister-In-law! I was wrecking my brain trying to figure out, but your gift guide helped!

    • Yay, I’m so glad! It’s a great speaker for its price!

  4. Jazz on

    My sister is a junior and would love that marble water bottle!

  5. The Planner and gift card are a hit in our household. College kids always need a little extra cash flow.

    • Amen to that! And fast food is such a treat when you’re a broke college student XD


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>